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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Disclaimer: I am 14. I want help with training my dog. Please don't attack me, I am doing my best. Trying to do what your parents expect (old fashioned ways to train dogs)and what overprotective people on the internet expect is really hard. Please be patient. I am trying my best here. I came on here for help. Thank you.
TLDR: Luna has problems with Running Away, Eating Trash, and A bad Crate relationship. Any tips are welcome.

It has been awhile! I'm back just before school starts again. I have realized that this time of year is really when everything starts to hit you, which makes sense.

Luna is now 15 months! She grown up very nicely, and I have to say shes a very pretty dog. We have done much work with her, and been left with 3 big problems, likely human error, which is why I am coming here (for help).

Problem #1: Escaping, Running, and Fence Jumping!
This is probably the lesser of my worries for now, but Luna enjoys a good run around the neighborhood more often than she should. She loves to escape when the front door is left open (undeniable human error), When we have her off leash in the front(yet again human error, but we are working on making it stop happening), and when we have her in the back yard, collar or not(the REAL problem here).
Jumping the fence has been a problem from the start. Our yard i pretty large, about a half acre, all surrounded by 4ft fence. She simply leaps over. She does this for squirrels, rabbits, the neighbor dog(disabled runner, sweet pup but Luna torments her, she loves chasing too much), and every so often for nothing at all. We bought a wireless electric fence for her, trained her with it, and she respects it well when she knows she has the collar on. However, on occasions where she is not wearing it, she leaves.
This applies to when its charging, when the collar is lost, etc, but mostly when shes playing with other dogs in our yard. Since its wireless, it only works in a circular radius, and our yard is a square, which is obvious. So when other, fence respecting pups come to run with her, we don't put it on so that she can be able to play without fear of getting shocked or having to stay within the boundaries. For example, not even 4 days ago, she was playing with a friends dog. They get along well, they've met before, they were having a great time. He stops to sniff at the ground, she loses focus for 0.3 seconds, and dips. Gone, nothing in sight, she just decided she wanted out of our yard.
Its very worrying since we live next to a fairly busy road. The sister that was mentioned in the last post(Luna's sister, Millie), actually got out of her house and got hit and passed away at about 5 months, on a different road. Escaping and running is in her genes. So how do we reinforce that fact that SHE HAS TO STAY IN OUR YARD?

Problem #2: Trash!
Luna LOVES to dig through any of our trash bins. This has been done since we got her. We always try to tell her that its naughty, and we have tried sticking her in her kennel (I know, we messed that up big time, that is problem #3), she simply wont stop.
We plan to put a child lock on the bin in the main floor, but she enjoys the occasional dip in the bins in the bathroom, which contain much harsher objects when ingested(See: Tampons, Pads, Clorox Wipes). Whatever we have been doing has not worked. What is something we can do/ say that will enforce the fact that it is BAD to be in the trash? We need discipline options that will work, and please none of that 'only positive reinforcement' crap. Discipline isn't abuse, and the positive reinforcement has not been working. But, y'know if theres any positive things we can do about it, that is welcome to be said too.

Problem #3: Kennel=Scary, Naughty, Bad!
We messed this up. Big time. Its horrible, and I don't know how we come back from it. We assumed the problem would heal itself up with time, but her naughtiness and us using it as a punishment has obviously NOT helped. This was very stupid of us. Very. To any/all new dog owners: DON'T MESS CRATE TRAINING UP. Its hard to fix once you've ruined it.
Her kennel has been used as a punishment recently, seeing as we have no other ideas. This has only reinforced her negative stigma of it. Previously, she hated it and didn't like being in it. Now, if we really need to get her in, she will run away, hide, and even snap if my brothers are trying to catch her. If you walk up the stairs with a treat she loses trust and wont follow, she knows you are gonna lead her to her kennel.
In the first 10 months or so of having her, she rarely slept in it. I didn't understand how important it was, because I had never had a dog before. My grandma insisted it was cruel(she adores all her animals, really loves them to death. She feels that separating them from us and such is horrible, her heart is in the right place, shes just a bit misinformed), and that definitely rubbed off on me. Now shes been sleeping in there, but its usually a struggle to get her in, and its ruining her trust in me and our relationship.
It almost slipped my mind because we haven't had to leave her alone in her kennel for the last 4 months, but when we leave her during the day, she SCREAMS. Not whining for the first 20 minutes, not a bit of whimpering, no. The entire time we are gone, she barks and howls and yelps. Shes on the 2nd story, friends walking by have heard her barking in the middle of the day and called to ask if shes okay. When we get home, the entire floor and wall area in front of her kennel is covered in spit, it take 2 rags to wipe it up. Its ridiculous and dangerous for dehydration.
This is a big question, probably the most important. How do I make the kennel a more positive thing? How do I stop the barking? Any tips welcome.

Again, Luna is very sweet. Shes my baby. She loves her family and her dog friends, and everyone she meets is charmed by her. Shes not a horrible pet, these are just some areas that need work. Any tips are welcome, Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! I will respond to any more questions in the morning, I stayed up late writing this haha.
 

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Oh dear, where to start.

First, the ”positive reinforcement crap” is used because it works.

So if you are not prepared to change that mindset, I can't help you.

In fact, I'm not even going to spend my time replying unless you respond along the lines that you you will stop using the shock collar on your dog and will listen to our advice, which is based on modern science and better understanding of canine psychology

And - when you go back to school, I suggest you wear the shock collar and every time you get something wrong, give yourself a shock. See how much that helps you get the right answer. The short answer is that it won't help at all. It will only make you stop trying to answer for fear of getting it wrong.
 

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TLDR: Luna has problems with Running Away, Eating Trash, and A bad Crate relationship. Any tips are welcome.

It has been awhile! I'm back just before school starts again. I have realized that this time of year is really when everything starts to hit you, which makes sense.

Luna is now 15 months! She grown up very nicely, and I have to say shes a very pretty dog. We have done much work with her, and been left with 3 big problems, likely human error, which is why I am coming here (for help).

Problem #1: Escaping, Running, and Fence Jumping!
This is probably the lesser of my worries for now, but Luna enjoys a good run around the neighborhood more often than she should. She loves to escape when the front door is left open (undeniable human error), When we have her off leash in the front(yet again human error, but we are working on making it stop happening), and when we have her in the back yard, collar or not(the REAL problem here).
Jumping the fence has been a problem from the start. Our yard i pretty large, about a half acre, all surrounded by 4ft fence. She simply leaps over. She does this for squirrels, rabbits, the neighbor dog(disabled runner, sweet pup but Luna torments her, she loves chasing too much), and every so often for nothing at all. We bought a wireless electric fence for her, trained her with it, and she respects it well when she knows she has the collar on. However, on occasions where she is not wearing it, she leaves.
This applies to when its charging, when the collar is lost, etc, but mostly when shes playing with other dogs in our yard. Since its wireless, it only works in a circular radius, and our yard is a square, which is obvious. So when other, fence respecting pups come to run with her, we don't put it on so that she can be able to play without fear of getting shocked or having to stay within the boundaries. For example, not even 4 days ago, she was playing with a friends dog. They get along well, they've met before, they were having a great time. He stops to sniff at the ground, she loses focus for 0.3 seconds, and dips. Gone, nothing in sight, she just decided she wanted out of our yard.
Its very worrying since we live next to a fairly busy road. The sister that was mentioned in the last post(Luna's sister, Millie), actually got out of her house and got hit and passed away at about 5 months, on a different road. Escaping and running is in her genes. So how do we reinforce that fact that SHE HAS TO STAY IN OUR YARD?

Problem #2: Trash!
Luna LOVES to dig through any of our trash bins. This has been done since we got her. We always try to tell her that its naughty, and we have tried sticking her in her kennel (I know, we messed that up big time, that is problem #3), she simply wont stop.
We plan to put a child lock on the bin in the main floor, but she enjoys the occasional dip in the bins in the bathroom, which contain much harsher objects when ingested(See: Tampons, Pads, Clorox Wipes). Whatever we have been doing has not worked. What is something we can do/ say that will enforce the fact that it is BAD to be in the trash? We need discipline options that will work, and please none of that 'only positive reinforcement' crap. Discipline isn't abuse, and the positive reinforcement has not been working. But, y'know if theres any positive things we can do about it, that is welcome to be said too.

Problem #3: Kennel=Scary, Naughty, Bad!
We messed this up. Big time. Its horrible, and I don't know how we come back from it. We assumed the problem would heal itself up with time, but her naughtiness and us using it as a punishment has obviously NOT helped. This was very stupid of us. Very. To any/all new dog owners: DON'T MESS CRATE TRAINING UP. Its hard to fix once you've ruined it.
Her kennel has been used as a punishment recently, seeing as we have no other ideas. This has only reinforced her negative stigma of it. Previously, she hated it and didn't like being in it. Now, if we really need to get her in, she will run away, hide, and even snap if my brothers are trying to catch her. If you walk up the stairs with a treat she loses trust and wont follow, she knows you are gonna lead her to her kennel.
In the first 10 months or so of having her, she rarely slept in it. I didn't understand how important it was, because I had never had a dog before. My grandma insisted it was cruel(she adores all her animals, really loves them to death. She feels that separating them from us and such is horrible, her heart is in the right place, shes just a bit misinformed), and that definitely rubbed off on me. Now shes been sleeping in there, but its usually a struggle to get her in, and its ruining her trust in me and our relationship.
It almost slipped my mind because we haven't had to leave her alone in her kennel for the last 4 months, but when we leave her during the day, she SCREAMS. Not whining for the first 20 minutes, not a bit of whimpering, no. The entire time we are gone, she barks and howls and yelps. Shes on the 2nd story, friends walking by have heard her barking in the middle of the day and called to ask if shes okay. When we get home, the entire floor and wall area in front of her kennel is covered in spit, it take 2 rags to wipe it up. Its ridiculous and dangerous for dehydration.
This is a big question, probably the most important. How do I make the kennel a more positive thing? How do I stop the barking? Any tips welcome.

Again, Luna is very sweet. Shes my baby. She loves her family and her dog friends, and everyone she meets is charmed by her. Shes not a horrible pet, these are just some areas that need work. Any tips are welcome, Thank you so much for taking the time to read this! I will respond to any more questions in the morning, I stayed up late writing this haha.
There is a lot to unpick here, although it's encouraging to hear you're prepared to admit you've messed up.

1). Electric collars are cruel at best and ineffectual long term at worst. Every time you use it, she's building up a tolerance of the pain, meaning you'll find yourself using higher and higher settings. :( @JoanneF has a point - imagine your brother putting the collar on you. He has complete control over when and where he zaps you - straight to your neck. How long would it be, do you think, before you stop trying? Before you take yourself off to a quiet little chair in the corner and give up?

Now what if there was something you wanted? What if you knew, for example, that the latest iPhone was sitting on a shelf. And it has your name on it. It's yours, but bro has decided you can't have it. The more you sit in your chair, the more you want that phone, until the need to have the phone in your hands outweighs the risk of the shock. You grab it. You get the shock. But you don't care, because you have your phone. Oh, the joy! Doesn't matter what bro does to you - you can scroll through FB and Instagram and Twitter and watch YouTube until your little heart's content.

Bro ramps up the dial. The shock hurts a little more. So you move away. You run away - out of the range of the control. You're free! You have your phone and bro can't reach you. Heaven!

That's what generally happens with dogs and electric collars and/or fences. Each time you shock your dog, you're building up her resistance to the pain. Once the dial hits maximum, and her pain threshold overcomes it, the collar is worthless. That's why they're best reserved for trainers who know what they're doing -, the professional trainer with impeccable timing. And if they have impeccable timing, they shouldn't need the electric ... Anything.

Besides, as you've found out yourself, dogs are intelligent enough to figure out when they can get away with something, and when they can't. They're more likely to misbehave (from our perspective) when our backs are turned, when we're out, or when the damed collar isn't around their necks. ;)

So, after all that, how do you keep your dog in the yard? I suggest Kikopup on YouTube. She has a video in which she shows how to use positive reinforcement to build up an invisible fence. As long as pup is within the boundary of the garden, treats run like a stream. Games galore! A canine party!

The second a paw crosses the threshold, the stream dries up and the games stop. Keep the dog on a long line whilst training, and set her up for success.

2) This one is soo simple - put the bins in cupboards and/or up high. If that isn't possible (such as in the bathroom), keep the door closed so she can't have access to it? Or put something heavy on the lid.

3). Her crate. You could try filling a Kong with wet food, freezing it and giving her it in her crate, as well as feeding all her meals in there, but if you've used it as a prison then you may never bring her round to seeing it as anything other than a prison. Could you leave her shut in your bedroom instead?
 

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There is a lot to unpick here, although it's encouraging to hear you're prepared to admit you've messed up.

1). Electric collars are cruel at best and ineffectual long term at worst. Every time you use it, she's building up a tolerance of the pain, meaning you'll find yourself using higher and higher settings. :( @JoanneF has a point - imagine your brother putting the collar on you. He has complete control over when and where he zaps you - straight to your neck. How long would it be, do you think, before you stop trying? Before you take yourself off to a quiet little chair in the corner and give up?

Now what if there was something you wanted? What if you knew, for example, that the latest iPhone was sitting on a shelf. And it has your name on it. It's yours, but bro has decided you can't have it. The more you sit in your chair, the more you want that phone, until the need to have the phone in your hands outweighs the risk of the shock. You grab it. You get the shock. But you don't care, because you have your phone. Oh, the joy! Doesn't matter what bro does to you - you can scroll through FB and Instagram and Twitter and watch YouTube until your little heart's content.

Bro ramps up the dial. The shock hurts a little more. So you move away. You run away - out of the range of the control. You're free! You have your phone and bro can't reach you. Heaven!

That's what generally happens with dogs and electric collars and/or fences. Each time you shock your dog, you're building up her resistance to the pain. Once the dial hits maximum, and her pain threshold overcomes it, the collar is worthless. That's why they're best reserved for trainers who know what they're doing -, the professional trainer with impeccable timing. And if they have impeccable timing, they shouldn't need the electric ... Anything.

Besides, as you've found out yourself, dogs are intelligent enough to figure out when they can get away with something, and when they can't. They're more likely to misbehave (from our perspective) when our backs are turned, when we're out, or when the damed collar isn't around their necks. ;)

So, after all that, how do you keep your dog in the yard? I suggest Kikopup on YouTube. She has a video in which she shows how to use positive reinforcement to build up an invisible fence. As long as pup is within the boundary of the garden, treats run like a stream. Games galore! A canine party!

The second a paw crosses the threshold, the stream dries up and the games stop. Keep the dog on a long line whilst training, and set her up for success.

2) This one is soo simple - put the bins in cupboards and/or up high. If that isn't possible (such as in the bathroom), keep the door closed so she can't have access to it? Or put something heavy on the lid.

3). Her crate. You could try filling a Kong with wet food, freezing it and giving her it in her crate, as well as feeding all her meals in there, but if you've used it as a prison then you may never bring her round to seeing it as anything other than a prison. Could you leave her shut in your bedroom instead?
PS;. That "positive reinforcement crap" enables a much better relationship with your dog. One built on mutual respect, trust and understanding.

Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh dear, where to start.

First, the ”positive reinforcement crap” is used because it works.

So if you are not prepared to change that mindset, I can't help you.

In fact, I'm not even going to spend my time replying unless you respond along the lines that you you will stop using the shock collar on your dog and will listen to our advice, which is based on modern science and better understanding of canine psychology

And - when you go back to school, I suggest you wear the shock collar and every time you get something wrong, give yourself a shock. See how much that helps you get the right answer. The short answer is that it won't help at all. It will only make you stop trying to answer for fear of getting it wrong.
The shock collar works. Unless I want her to get hit by a car and die, I will continue using it. And I know exactly how it feels. I have turned it halfway(the setting we use for her) and shocked myself. It doesn't hurt, it startles me, but it doesn't hurt. This is how I keep my dog safe.
And I never said the positive reinforcement doesn't work. I said what we have been doing hasn't worked. So any other ideas that are positive I accept to hear. You replying saying that negative reinforcement is horrible is exactly why I put that statement in there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
PS;. That "positive reinforcement crap" enables a much better relationship with your dog. One built on mutual respect, trust and understanding.

Just a thought.
Yes, I know. I simply said what we have been doing has not worked AT ALL. So if you have any recommendations I would be very glad to hear them and try them. I may have come off as saying that negative reinforcement is the only option, that's not what I meant. So sorry for the confusion. So if you have any other ideas that you approve of that you think may work, I would really be glad to try them!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There is a lot to unpick here, although it's encouraging to hear you're prepared to admit you've messed up.

1). Electric collars are cruel at best and ineffectual long term at worst. Every time you use it, she's building up a tolerance of the pain, meaning you'll find yourself using higher and higher settings. :( @JoanneF has a point - imagine your brother putting the collar on you. He has complete control over when and where he zaps you - straight to your neck. How long would it be, do you think, before you stop trying? Before you take yourself off to a quiet little chair in the corner and give up?

Now what if there was something you wanted? What if you knew, for example, that the latest iPhone was sitting on a shelf. And it has your name on it. It's yours, but bro has decided you can't have it. The more you sit in your chair, the more you want that phone, until the need to have the phone in your hands outweighs the risk of the shock. You grab it. You get the shock. But you don't care, because you have your phone. Oh, the joy! Doesn't matter what bro does to you - you can scroll through FB and Instagram and Twitter and watch YouTube until your little heart's content.

Bro ramps up the dial. The shock hurts a little more. So you move away. You run away - out of the range of the control. You're free! You have your phone and bro can't reach you. Heaven!

That's what generally happens with dogs and electric collars and/or fences. Each time you shock your dog, you're building up her resistance to the pain. Once the dial hits maximum, and her pain threshold overcomes it, the collar is worthless. That's why they're best reserved for trainers who know what they're doing -, the professional trainer with impeccable timing. And if they have impeccable timing, they shouldn't need the electric ... Anything.

Besides, as you've found out yourself, dogs are intelligent enough to figure out when they can get away with something, and when they can't. They're more likely to misbehave (from our perspective) when our backs are turned, when we're out, or when the damed collar isn't around their necks. ;)

So, after all that, how do you keep your dog in the yard? I suggest Kikopup on YouTube. She has a video in which she shows how to use positive reinforcement to build up an invisible fence. As long as pup is within the boundary of the garden, treats run like a stream. Games galore! A canine party!

The second a paw crosses the threshold, the stream dries up and the games stop. Keep the dog on a long line whilst training, and set her up for success.

2) This one is soo simple - put the bins in cupboards and/or up high. If that isn't possible (such as in the bathroom), keep the door closed so she can't have access to it? Or put something heavy on the lid.

3). Her crate. You could try filling a Kong with wet food, freezing it and giving her it in her crate, as well as feeding all her meals in there, but if you've used it as a prison then you may never bring her round to seeing it as anything other than a prison. Could you leave her shut in your bedroom instead?
Starting with the shock collar. The setting we use it on only startles, doesn't actually cause damage. I know because I have walked around our yard and used it on myself(on the palm of my hand, one of the most sensitive spots for us). And as of right now, I much prefer her getting shocked once a week AT MOST, to her escaping our yard, getting hit by a car, and ending up dead.
Her kennel is actually in my bedroom, and when we have tried leaving her out in my room, she ended up scratching the door up, and hurting a few claws. I'm working on giving her lots of treats in her kennel though, and we do use a kong. Shes still very wary of it, but we will get there.
Also, kikopup has been helpful! I haven't seen the video you've mentioned, but a couple others in different aspects of training. I will try to find that one!

I really hate that we have had to use the kennel as a prison for her, but I am not sure I can convince my mom to stop without another option. Is there anything we can do when shes been naughty? We cant take away toys like you would for a human kid. I just am not really sure what to do.

Thank you so much!
 

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The shock collar works. Unless I want her to get hit by a car and die, I will continue using it. And I know exactly how it feels. I have turned it halfway(the setting we use for her) and shocked myself. It doesn't hurt, it startles me, but it doesn't hurt. This is how I keep my dog safe.
And I never said the positive reinforcement doesn't work. I said what we have been doing hasn't worked. So any other ideas that are positive I accept to hear. You replying saying that negative reinforcement is horrible is exactly why I put that statement in there.
You did call it positive reinforcement crap though.

Let's go back a step though.

The shock collar works by causing something to happen that the dog doesn't like. But it fails completely to tell her what you do want her to do. And, as you said, as soon as it is off, she runs off.

I think you are confused about negative reinforcement. Reinforcement is about encouraging a desired behaviour to be repeated. Negative has a meaning similar to maths - taking something away. So negative reinforcement is when you tell a child they will be excused household chores (taking them away) if they study hard and do well in an exam (desired behaviour).

What you are using is positive (adding a shock) punishment (something that stops or reduces a behaviour). And, in the short term, yes it ”works”. There is a saying that if you want a dog to sit in a particular corner of a room, you can reward it every time it goes to that corner, or you can beat it up every time it goes to any of the three ”wrong” corners. The result will be the same but you will end up with a very different dog.

I think you have several options here.

Management - don't let her out unsupervised. A leash works just as well as a shock collar for stopping a dog running off, without being cruel. Or increase the height of your boundary fences. Or fence off just an area for her. All these will contain her without using aversive tools.

Then training - if you are finding that positive reinforcement isn't working for you, there may be three reasons why.

First, she doesn't understand. That's where training comes in, you need to teach her what you want, and reward when she gets it right so she knows she has done the right thing.

Second, the motivation or reward of doing what she is already doing is higher than the motivation or reward of doing what you are asking. So your rewards need to be high value - and they need to be timed perfectly so it is very clear what she is being rewarded for.

Third, you are working against a deeply rooted breed trait that the dog has been selectively bred for over centuries. I read back and see that your dog is a Brittany cross. These dogs are hard wired to hunt. A close friend has one, she has invested literally hundreds of hours of specialist gun dog training, this dog is one of the most highly trained dogs I have seen outside of competition, recalls like nothing you have ever seen - 99% of the time. If she finds a scent, she is off. She does come back, but her ears stop functioning when she scents a deer. Maybe the Brittany trait in your dog will be diluted by the other breeds in the mix. It is very possible to train her using positive reinforcement but that desire to hunt may never leave.

So a combination of supervision, strengthening your physical barriers and reward based training is going to be needed.

Then, the crate.

It's possible you are too late to recover from her hate of it, but I'm going to attach a file with a guide to crate training that is one of the best I have seen. It was written by Emma Judson who is a behaviourist who specialises in separation anxiety.

 

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It almost slipped my mind because we haven't had to leave her alone in her kennel for the last 4 months, but when we leave her during the day, she SCREAMS. Not whining for the first 20 minutes, not a bit of whimpering, no. The entire time we are gone, she barks and howls and yelps
By the way, this is classic separation anxiety. You have my sympathy, because both of my girls had it while they settled in. Mine settled after 3-6 months, but unless she's a recent addition, it could be that she needs to see a qualified behaviourist.

Starting with the shock collar. The setting we use it on only startles, doesn't actually cause damage. I know because I have walked around our yard and used it on myself(on the palm of my hand, one of the most sensitive spots for us). And as of right now, I much prefer her getting shocked once a week AT MOST, to her escaping our yard, getting hit by a car, and ending up dead.
And how are you going to control that? How are you going to stop her jumping over your wall for the rest of the week? What are you going to do if she ignore the zap and continues to run anyway?

I think you need to read this;

And this;

Her kennel is actually in my bedroom, and when we have tried leaving her out in my room, she ended up scratching the door up, and hurting a few claws.
Another classic symptom of SA.

I really hate that we have had to use the kennel as a prison for her, but I am not sure I can convince my mom to stop without another option. Is there anything we can do when shes been naughty? We cant take away toys like you would for a human kid. I just am not really sure what to do.

Thank you so much!
And that is why you're fighting a losing battle with the crate. If your mom sees the crate/kennel as somewhere to send the dog when she's "naughty" or when you have to go out, any treats or positive reinforcement you do with the crate is like putting an Elastoplast on an arterial bleed - too little, too late.
 

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OK so I'll get bashed again for saying this and the OP has admitted it but what Im reading is human error human error human error and lets blame the dog...
Unless the family is ready to stop messing about leaving the dog outside leaving the door wide open using outdated toruture methods and punishments ect the situation will not change.
I think the idea of shocking the family when they get it wrong might not be a bad idea... If theyve had a year to sort themselves out and nothing is working yet maybe a short sharp shock would focus their minds.

Good advice is being ignored or pushed aside with excuses,, Im slightly at a loss as to why people ask for help and then make every excuse they can think of to ignore it.
 

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OK so I'll get bashed again
No bashing from me. I agree with most of the things you've said. But...

Unless the family is ready to stop messing about leaving the dog outside leaving the door wide open
I was under the impression the owners were letting the dog/s out for supervised play, not leaving the door open and letting her wander in and out as she sees fit. If that's what's happening, then, given the low wall, the dog would be better off being rehomed. Especially if the dog has the e-collar on.

I swear I read an article years ago in which a dog, left outside with an e-collar round its neck, was caught in a thunderstorm. The collar short-circuited and the poor dog was shocked to death. :(

Can't seem to find the link now, though. :unsure:
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
By the way, this is classic separation anxiety. You have my sympathy, because both of my girls had it while they settled in. Mine settled after 3-6 months, but unless she's a recent addition, it could be that she needs to see a qualified behaviourist.



And how are you going to control that? How are you going to stop her jumping over your wall for the rest of the week? What are you going to do if she ignore the zap and continues to run anyway?

I think you need to read this;

And this;



Another classic symptom of SA.



And that is why you're fighting a losing battle with the crate. If your mom sees the crate/kennel as somewhere to send the dog when she's "naughty" or when you have to go out, any treats or positive reinforcement you do with the crate is like putting an Elastoplast on an arterial bleed - too little, too late.
I certainly think that SA could be a reason why we have had such a hard time with the crate. And the fact that we have used it as a punishment, of course. I am reading the links you included as well.
More about the collar; when she has it on, she doesn't leave. She stays within her boundaries and respects(or fears) the line with which she would be shocked. The problem lies within when she doesn't have it on for the reasons I included in the original post. And certainly as Joanne mentioned, her breed may have a very big impact on this.
We never let her out without supervision. She is always being watched when out there, and if it is raining we take her out with a leash and umbrella.

I honestly appreciate the help you have given. Seriously. Thank you.

What is something that my mom can do instead of putting her in the crate when shes naughty? I had a conversation with her about it, and she said she would stop if I gave her another option. Telling her off, of course. I don't allow anyone in the house to hit her, so that is out of the question(I hope you wouldn't advise that anyway). Again, thank you.
 

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You did call it positive reinforcement crap though.

Let's go back a step though.

The shock collar works by causing something to happen that the dog doesn't like. But it fails completely to tell her what you do want her to do. And, as you said, as soon as it is off, she runs off.

I think you are confused about negative reinforcement. Reinforcement is about encouraging a desired behaviour to be repeated. Negative has a meaning similar to maths - taking something away. So negative reinforcement is when you tell a child they will be excused household chores (taking them away) if they study hard and do well in an exam (desired behaviour).

What you are using is positive (adding a shock) punishment (something that stops or reduces a behaviour). And, in the short term, yes it ”works”. There is a saying that if you want a dog to sit in a particular corner of a room, you can reward it every time it goes to that corner, or you can beat it up every time it goes to any of the three ”wrong” corners. The result will be the same but you will end up with a very different dog.

I think you have several options here.

Management - don't let her out unsupervised. A leash works just as well as a shock collar for stopping a dog running off, without being cruel. Or increase the height of your boundary fences. Or fence off just an area for her. All these will contain her without using aversive tools.

Then training - if you are finding that positive reinforcement isn't working for you, there may be three reasons why.

First, she doesn't understand. That's where training comes in, you need to teach her what you want, and reward when she gets it right so she knows she has done the right thing.

Second, the motivation or reward of doing what she is already doing is higher than the motivation or reward of doing what you are asking. So your rewards need to be high value - and they need to be timed perfectly so it is very clear what she is being rewarded for.

Third, you are working against a deeply rooted breed trait that the dog has been selectively bred for over centuries. I read back and see that your dog is a Brittany cross. These dogs are hard wired to hunt. A close friend has one, she has invested literally hundreds of hours of specialist gun dog training, this dog is one of the most highly trained dogs I have seen outside of competition, recalls like nothing you have ever seen - 99% of the time. If she finds a scent, she is off. She does come back, but her ears stop functioning when she scents a deer. Maybe the Brittany trait in your dog will be diluted by the other breeds in the mix. It is very possible to train her using positive reinforcement but that desire to hunt may never leave.

So a combination of supervision, strengthening your physical barriers and reward based training is going to be needed.

Then, the crate.

It's possible you are too late to recover from her hate of it, but I'm going to attach a file with a guide to crate training that is one of the best I have seen. It was written by Emma Judson who is a behaviourist who specialises in separation anxiety.

I am reading through the doc you included. Thank you. And yes, your explanation was different than what I had previously thought to be Positive/negative. That is helping me understand your previous comment much better, sorry if I came off as hostile at all!
My parents will not heighten the fence at all, because we don't have the extra money atm to replace the amount of fencing that would be necessary. I really am thinking of just reverting back to a simple long leash. It seems to be the best option right now.
I think you are spot on with the breed being such serious hunters, and that definitely wont change.
We are working hard on the crate stuff now.
This is my biggest question, as you seem to know a lot about training and what works:
What is something that my mom can do instead of putting her in the crate when shes naughty? I had a conversation with her about it, and she said she would stop if I gave her another option. Telling her off, of course. I don't allow anyone in the house to hit her, so that is out of the question(I hope you wouldn't advise that anyway).
Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
OK so I'll get bashed again for saying this and the OP has admitted it but what Im reading is human error human error human error and lets blame the dog...
Unless the family is ready to stop messing about leaving the dog outside leaving the door wide open using outdated toruture methods and punishments ect the situation will not change.
I think the idea of shocking the family when they get it wrong might not be a bad idea... If theyve had a year to sort themselves out and nothing is working yet maybe a short sharp shock would focus their minds.

Good advice is being ignored or pushed aside with excuses,, Im slightly at a loss as to why people ask for help and then make every excuse they can think of to ignore it.
I never said to blame the dog. Blaming the dog would be me being angry at her and punishing her for something that runs in her breed and her blood.
The door is never 'left wide open' and she is always under supervision when she is out.
Again, I have used the shock on myself! It doesn't hurt!
What you're taking as excuses is me trying to explain the situation better and get any reasonable ideas as to how to better train her and myself.

I know your heart is probably in the right place, and I am so happy to know so many people have enough care in their hearts for animals they haven't even met, but you're being overly hostile. I came on here to get advice and try to fix the problems that my family has caused by our mess ups, and you attempting to override the situation is not helping. I am 14. I don't know how you want me to do much better, when I am literally asking for help.
 

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I'm having trouble with quotes, so - ”what can your mum do when she is naughty”.

Dogs don't do 'naughty' as such, they don't do things to annoy us. They do what works for them.

The easiest way to teach a dog to stop doing something we dislike is to teach an alternative. Because dogs, and other animals, struggle with 'don't '. If I said to you don't think of a pink and green striped cartoon elephant, what comes to mind? Its impossible to not think of it.

So instead of training 'don't jump' it's far, far easier to train 'do sit' - and a dog can't jump while she is sitting.

For the love of God get rid of the collar, for all the reasons we have given, and start working on telling your dog what you do want.

Keep her on leash or on a long line outside.

And, define examples of naughty and we will try to suggest alternatives.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm having trouble with quotes, so - ”what can your mum do when she is naughty”.

Dogs don't do 'naughty' as such, they don't do things to annoy us. They do what works for them.

The easiest way to teach a dog to stop doing something we dislike is to teach an alternative. Because dogs, and other animals, struggle with 'don't '. If I said to you don't think of a pink and green striped cartoon elephant, what comes to mind? Its impossible to not think of it.

So instead of training 'don't jump' it's far, far easier to train 'do sit' - and a dog can't jump while she is sitting.

For the love of God get rid of the collar, for all the reasons we have given, and start working on telling your dog what you do want.

Keep her on leash or on a long line outside.

And, define examples of naughty and we will try to suggest alternatives.
For example, going in the trash can (because its gonna happen sometimes), when she does escape, are we expected to do something after we catch her back? If she jumps up and eats food off the table while we have our back turned, which happens on occasion. She knows she shouldn't do it while we are watching.
And honestly, the people on this site are acting like their dogs are perfect, and they are perfect trainers. All of my words are being taken literally. I came on her to get help with this, not be lectured when I say that my dog can be naughty. I'm literally 14, I am doing my best, and doing a hell of a lot better than lots of people do with their dogs. I love my dog and I want the best for her. Please stop being so harsh. I really am trying here.
 

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I'm sorry you saw my post as hostile but I cannot come to terms with physically punishing a dog for doing what comes naturally to them
What you are reading is over 40 years of rescuing I get tired and exhausted from reading time and time again people buying a dog based on looks and not understanding the breed and then getting frustrated with the dog when it does what it's bred to do and a Brittany is bred to hunt and track.
you need to ditch that e-collar now they are banned in most civilized countries and note I said civilised.
put the dog on a long lead outside train a firm return you can do this with positive reinforcement and it's not crap ,,you give the dog a really good reason for coming back to you because you're the best thing in the world better than any rabbit, better than any play thing, it takes work and I know a lot of people don't like that but that's the way to go.
how much stimulation are you giving your dog ? I'm not talking about letting it chase the ball in the yard I'm not talking about the walk around the block... think about what it's bred for and ask yourself what am I doing for this dog? because that's where most of the frustration comes in with dogs if they are not doing what they are bred for they become frustrated and frustrated dogs become in your words naughty dogs, so go back re-examine what you're doing with the dog look at where you're going wrong. If you correct your behaviour you will probably find the dog turns into the most fantastic dog you could ever think of...
 

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I'm sorry you saw my post as hostile but I cannot come to terms with physically punishing a dog for doing what comes naturally to them
What you are reading is over 40 years of rescuing I get tired and exhausted from reading time and time again people buying a dog based on looks and not understanding the breed and then getting frustrated with the dog when it does what it's bred to do and a Brittany is bred to hunt and track.
you need to ditch that e-collar now they are banned in most civilized countries and note I said civilised.
put the dog on a long lead outside train a firm return you can do this with positive reinforcement and it's not crap ,,you give the dog a really good reason for coming back to you because you're the best thing in the world better than any rabbit, better than any play thing, it takes work and I know a lot of people don't like that but that's the way to go.
how much stimulation are you giving your dog ? I'm not talking about letting it chase the ball in the yard I'm not talking about the walk around the block... think about what it's bred for and ask yourself what am I doing for this dog? because that's where most of the frustration comes in with dogs if they are not doing what they are bred for they become frustrated and frustrated dogs become in your words naughty dogs, so go back re-examine what you're doing with the dog look at where you're going wrong. If you correct your behaviour you will probably find the dog turns into the most fantastic dog you could ever think of...
We actually rescued Luna, and didn't know she was Brittany until we got her DNA tests back.
She is a wonderful dog. We go to the dog park multiple times a week, as often as I can get a ride there with her. We go for at least 2 hours of walks everyday, and I train her with her Breakfast and dinner, and a little throughout the day. She chases the cats around when they come upstairs, which is good for the cats because they need to lose some weight. My family doesn't hunt, we never trained her to hunt. I don't know what more stimulation I could get her?
Shes actually the most amazing and sweet dog. The problems I listed sound a little exaggerated because I didn't come on here to talk about how wonderful she is. She loves kids, and loves meeting new people. She LOVES playing with any dog she meets, and plays with our cats. She listens very well when we are one on one, and my grandparents are her second favorite people to be with. She loves swimming in lakes and pools. She is actually one of the best dogs I have ever met.
I never meant to sound like I was mad at her or needed to solve these problems. But I think life would just be easier if I did. Regardless, she has my whole heart. Shes not a bad dog, we just both have some things we could work on. I'd love to hear more advice regarding those topics.
I agree about the collar, (and the fact that the country I live in really is not very civilised), I think I am just gonna set up a long line at this point.
But believe me when I say that Luna is my life. Shes not abused, and shes not neglected. Shes very loved.
 

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Ok, in order. The trash can needs to be kept empty, or inaccessible. That's all. If you can keep it empty, she will learn in time that tipping it brings no benefits. Then, if someone does make a mistake and forgets to empty it, she will likely have got out of the habit of trying it in the hope there is something.

Escaping - again this is all about managing. Just don't let it happen. But, also,you need to become an absolutely awesome person to hang out with. You know when I said before that the reward or benefit of doing what you ask has to be far greater than the reward or benefit of doing something else? It's related. My dog gets so much pleasure from hanging out with me that I could leave our gate open and he would not dream of going. That isn't achieved through delivering shocks, that's through building a really strong bond over the years where he sees me as the source of all the great things in his life - food, play, encouragement and affection.

Food on the table - exactly the same. Just don't let it happen, or in your family have one person do something with her like play or training while other people put food on the table or clear it away.

And no, we are not perfect, and we don't have perfect dogs. But what we do know is that rewards work, punishment doesn't. As you are finding out for yourself.

I don't know what you are learning in school right now, but let's take an example of algebra. When you get an equation wrong, what does your teacher do - explain what you need to do to get it right, or smack you about? If it is the latter, they would be struck off. So try to think of yourself as your dog's teacher. Your job is to show her what she needs to do to get it right, and reward her when she does.

For what it is worth, kudos to you for coming back and looking at this in more depth. Yes, we have been harsh but that is because we are frustrated when people (not just you) see punishment as the only option. So I actually think you have a lot of promise as a potential crossover trainer (one who moves from aversive tools to more enlightened science based approaches. And we would like to help if you stay around.

By the way, see what I did there?
 

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And honestly, the people on this site are acting like their dogs are perfect, and they are perfect trainers.
Oh, man! If only!

My lurcher, Milly (Whippet X Jack Russel terrier- also a rescue) can never be let off leash unless it's in a secure area. She is so good at pulling me into a false sense of security, recalling 99.9% of the time. Then she'll get a whiff of a scent (bear in mind she's a sighthound) and be off, over the hills and out of sight before I can so much as yell her name. Generally having 2 dogs at the same time slows me down, because while she goes galavanting off, I can't just abandon the other dog. And then, because luckily for me, she's a creature of habit, I know where she's most likely to go. Still means about a half mile quick march with a dog in tow who doesn't see the urgency.

And when I do catch up with her, I have to knock on the lady's door and ask her if I can please retrieve my delinquent mutt from her back garden.

To this day, I can't have an alarm clock in my room, because she's chewed 2 that I had in the past. The second clock I bought only a couple of years ago. I thought she was over her chewing stage. Hadn't seen any evidence to the contrary. So I buy the clock. Two days later it was destroyed. :D

For the first 18 months or so of her life with me, she chewed and destroyed pretty much anything she could get her paws on - books, the aforementioned clock(s), her collar (she actually ate that completely. Pink leather apparently tasted yummy :rolleyes: ), paper, once she munched her way through a 200 gram back of treats, chocolates - complete with the wrappers, I've lost count of the number of loaves of bread she's pilfered and eaten.

More than one net curtain was twitched to see who was killing the poor defenseless animal who was "obviously" being tortured and was screaming in her agonised death throes, only to find a perfectly healthy looking lurcher who was hell-bent on killing one of the many neighbourhood cats, and cruel, heartless human that I am ... I was simply refusing to let go of the leash and trying to drag her away from her intended victim.

She's literally knocked me off my feet, crashed into my shins, making me think she'd broken both my legs at the same time, crashed into other dogs, pulled me into the road, spun me around and risked dislocating my shoulder.

Like Luna, she had to be kept in her crate when I was out, and at night. Now she sleeps where she likes and her crate is dismantled and stored behind a disused couch in case she needs it.

It's taken years - literally years -, to get her to the point where she is now. She engages with me, walks to heal, does tricks, walks calmly past cats with, at most, a whine of regret before turning her attention back to me for her treats.

We're far from perfect, Lucy. We're human too. We make mistakes, get angry or frustrated. Sometimes it feels like things will never get better. But I'll tell you now, both of my girls know only too well when I'm angry or frustrated - even though, most of the time, it's not with them. I see it reflected in their body language, and it sends a knife straight through my chest. There's no way I want to see that look for fear, because of a training method I decide to employ.

She LOVES playing with any dog she meets,
That's probably not the best idea, either. Better for you and her if she's dog neutral. But maybe that will come in time.
 
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